Nomaqwa Sibindi from Lower Gweru in Midlands province, last week, said most villagers were “buying” basic commodities using grain.
She, however, complained that the buyers, mostly shop owners, were cashing in on the desperation of poor villagers by not paying the real value of the grain. We obtain basic commodities such as cooking oil, soap, sugar and flour in exchange of grain. The shop-owners are cashing-in on our desperate plight since we are unemployed and have no means of generating cash to buy the goods at a fair value,” said Sibindi.
Villagers who do not have grain, exchange livestock such as goats, chickens and sheep for groceries.
Sibindi said: “On average a bar of soap costs about US$2 and a bucket of maize costs US$4. Shop owners undervalue our grain to US$2 which they later sell at a profit.”